“I am now able to speak my truth.”
Each month, Boys to Men is now holding 116 groups in San Diego. This month’s Spotlight School is Harriet Tubman Village Charter School in La Mesa, which is a part of the San Diego Charter School Consortium. Boys to Men is now in partnership with 6 schools in this consortium and growing with as many as 8 more schools on the waiting list.
Dr. Valerie Bailey, the school counselor for Harriet Tubman said, “Our students involved in Boys to Men have made monumental strides since Boys to Men has been at Tubman. I have witnessed significant interpersonal and intrapersonal growth in our boys that are in group. From an outside perspective, it shows that these young men are learning to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. I look forward to continuing the strong, positive relationship that our school has with the Boys to Men mentor program.”
Harriett Tubman became part of the Boys to Men family during the 2013-14 school year, and since that time, we have served more than 40 boys, with 14 of these young men also attending the Adventure Mountain Weekend at Sonrise Ranch on Palomar Mountain.
Jessie, a young man from Harriet Tubman who went on our last Adventure Weekend said, “Boys to Men has given me the courage to be who I want to be, and not what people expect me to be.”
Another boy from this school, Bronson, explained how our group mentoring has changed his life by saying, “Boys to Men gave me the words I needed to speak and be heard by those around me. I am now able to speak my truth.”
Our collective goal as an organization is to teach these fatherless and at-risk boys that there is a path to becoming a man that involves making informed decisions and forward thinking. The men who sit in our groups with these boys are not there to scold them, but rather to hold them accountable and show them there are good men who will show up each week to support and encourage them.
Anthony Hutchings, our lead Boys to Men mentor at Harriett Tubman, explained, “Most of the boys at this school are young men that do not come from the best homes, and never had a group of men show up in their lives that value what the say and help them explore all the possibilities of what their lives could be if they are willing to do the work. One boy at a time and one school at a time, Boys to Men is changing lives.”